SIRQ, Inc. v The Layton Companies, Inc.

Layton appealed the jury verdict against it arguing improper purpose intentional interference with contract should be abandoned and that the district court did not perform gatekeeping in the false light claim. The Court reversed and remanded for a new trial. As to the intentional interference, the court noted that the improper purpose cause of action had been abolished by the Court during the pendency of the appeal, the new rule applies to all cases on appeal and the evidence of improper purpose at trial was a significant part of SIRQ’s case and the Court concluded the now irrelevant evidence may have formed the basis for the verdict. As to false light, the Court held that the district court failed to perform its gatekeeping function as it failed to rule on Layton’s motion in liminie and declining to use a special verdict form requiting the jury to provide a verdict as to each allegedly defamatory statement and many statements incapable of defamatory meaning were admitted as was the improper purpose evidence which combine to undermine confidence in the verdict.

In the Mater of the Adoption of Baby Q (James v D.Q. and S.Q.)

James appealed the denial of his motion to intervene in the adoption proceeding. The Court entered an order on April 7, 2016 reversing that order and remanding for further proceedings. The Court issued its opinion on July 1, 2016. It held the pre-birth notice issued here was done by the birth mother as she had input in decision-making to issue the notice, the notice identified mother a the person giving notice and her affidavit, though minimizing her involvement, is fairly read to demonstrate she agreed to the issuance of the notice and the statute does not require her signature. The Court held the notice did not satisfy one of the requirement in Utah Code 78B-6-110.1(b)(4) as it only stated James may lose his right to contest adoption no that he would irrevocably lose that right if he failed to take on the outlined steps to preserve his rights within 30 days for receipt of the notice. It also held that this defect mean the notice served on James did not trigger the 30 day clock and thus James retained his right to contest the adoption and the district court erred in denying the intervention motion.